Twenty-first Century "maritime Silk Road" and the international communication platform

Beibu Gulf Port Joins Hands with Lion City to Build New Land-Sea Corridor with Sincerity

2021-12-28 17:10:06   By:China-ASEAN    Hits:

Written By Guan Qiuyun / Translated By Chen Zhiying

In early winter, the waves rolled up and thousands of ships sailed by the Beibu Gulf Port.

Entering the list of global top 100 container port for the first time, coming out in front in customs clearance efficiency among China’s maritime ports, achieving the automation of container terminals, building the first sea-rail combined automatic container port in China, completing and starting to operate the Beibu Gulf International Gateway Port shipping service center, developing medium and high-end shipping service from zero, and speeding up its agglomeration... in recent years, Guangxi Beibu Gulf Port Group (hereinafter referred to as Beibu Gulf Port Group) has played an important role in building the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (hereinafter referred to as New Land-Sea Corridor) through integrating port resources and optimizing layouts.

Beibu Gulf International Gateway Port

Prosper along the sea: building Beibu Gulf Gateway Port

Beibu Gulf Port Group has shouldered great responsibilities in the construction of the New Land-Sea Corridor. On September 2, 2021, China officially issued the Implementation Plan for Promoting the High-Quality Construction of the New Western Land-Sea Corridor during the 14th Five Year Period. In  strengthening functions of key hubs, the Plan emphasizes the acceleration of building Beibu Gulf Gateway Port.

Looking back, since the Pan Beibu Gulf Economic Cooperation Forum was held in 2006, Pan Beibu Gulf Cooperation has continued to deepen, laying a solid foundation for the construction of Beibu Gulf Gateway Port. In particular, the China-ASEAN Port Cities Cooperation Network Forum Declaration adopted during the 10th China-ASEAN Expo in 2013 not only opened a new chapter to port cooperation in the New Land-Sea Corridor, but also consolidated the foundation for building the Beibu Gulf Gateway Port.

At present, the number of members of the port cooperation network has grown to 39, covering main port institutions in China-ASEAN region. A number of projects featuring mutual investment and cooperation with ASEAN have seen breakthroughs. Guangxi Beibu Gulf Port has successfully invested in Kuantan Port in Malaysia and Muara Port in Brunei. There has been a new trend in the opening of routes between China and ASEAN ports, with 19 direct routes to ASEAN countries, covering the main ports of ASEAN countries. Relying on the industrial park cooperation of the port, China and Malaysia have created a new model of international industrial cooperation called “Two Countries, Twin Parks” to upgrade the layout of regional industrial chains. The construction of Beibu Gulf International Gateway Port shipping service center has achieved initial progress.

Based on the achievements made in the construction of China-ASEAN Port Cities Cooperation Network and relying on the New Land-Sea Corridor, Guangxi takes world-class ports as its standard to accelerate the building of Beibu Gulf Gateway Port.

Up to now, new breakthroughs have been made in the construction of Beibu Gulf Gateway Port. From January to August 2020, the cargo throughput and container throughput of the port reached 195 million tons and 3.03 million TEUs respectively, with an increase of 19.6% and 34.6%, ranking the top among major coastal ports in China. By 2022, Beibu Gulf Port will be open to 200,000 ton container ships and 300,000 ton bulk carriers.

Land-sea linkage to promote the construction of the corridor with industrial empowerment

On June 30, 2021, Train 49978 loaded with 3,687 tons of Cambodian rice, cassava and other crops set off from Qinzhou Port East Station in Guangxi to Tuanjie Village Station in Chongqing. So far, the total number of sea-rail intermodal trains operated along the New Western Land-Sea Corridor has exceeded 10,000.

Sea-rail combined transport enables land-sea connectivity. Huang Guanghui, Head of Qinzhou Port East Station of Guangxi Coastal Railway Company, said it was hard to imagine such a busy and lively scene in Qinzhou Port East Station today. “At the beginning of its construction in 2015, there were only more than 10 trains setting off from Qinzhou Port East Station every year, and goods transported were only ceramics and plates. After the operation of the sea-rail combined transport train along the New Land-Sea Corridor, the number of trains increased by nearly 25 times from 178 in 2017 to 4,607 in 2020 and from 1 train per week to more than 10 trains per day. The types of goods transportation increased to more than 300. The sea-rail combined transport train has achieved seamless connection with China-Europe trains.”

It is said that at present, Beibu Gulf Port has realized regular operation of “Beibu Gulf Port (Qinzhou Port)-Hong Kong” every day and “Beibu Gulf Port (Qinzhou Port)-Singapore” twice a week, and the sea-rail combined transport trains from Suining to Qinzhou and from Ningxia to Qinzhou have officially started operation.

With the increase of trains, the work of “cost reduction, efficiency improvement and service optimization” of sea-rail combined transport has also made positive progress.

“Taking Qinzhou Port as an example, at present, the port has adopted a number of preferential and safeguard measures for sea-rail combined transport goods, such as exempting fees, reducing fees for short-distance transport and extending the free storage period for goods, promoted the connectivity of shipping information and data of international trade along the New Land-Sea Corridor. The number of people responsible for port customs clearance has been reduced from 36 to 8, and paper documents from 41 to 8. The innovation of supervision modes such as “direct pick-up beside ships”, “direct loading at the port”, “two-step declaration” and “two-stage access” has greatly reduced the overall customs clearance time,” said Liu Chuzheng, Chief of the Comprehensive Business Section of Qinzhou Port Customs.

Scenes of Qinzhou Port

Now, with joint efforts from various parties, logistics cost along the New Land-Sea Corridor has decreased significantly, and the fee per ticket for intermediary services in Qinzhou Port has been almost the same as that in Ningbo Port and Shenzhen Yantian Port. From January to August 2021, the overall customs clearance time for imports and exports was 15.78 hours and 0.28 hours, 25.15% and 25.59% lower than that in 2020 respectively. The customs clearance efficiency ranks among the top among China’s maritime ports.

The New Land-Sea Corridor is not only a major corridor for trade and logistics, but also for the cluster of production factors and industries. Driven by the sea-rail combined transport, industries along the Beibu Gulf Port has also developed rapidly.

At present, Qinzhou Port is steadily promoting the construction of phase II EPC project of Huayi Qinzhou chemical new material integration base; modern port industrial clusters with emphasis on iron and steel, non-ferrous metals, grain and oil are accelerating to become a reality in Fangchenggang port, and a number of projects such as Liugang and Shenglong cold rolling have landed one after another, to form a 100-billion-yuan port industrial cluster.

Cross-sea cooperation: jointly building the New Land-Sea Corridor with sincerity

As an old Chinese saying goes, “if you use all your strength, you will be invincible to the world; if you use all your wisdom, you will be fearless to saints.” In recent years, in promoting the construction of the New Land-Sea Corridor, Beibu Gulf Port Group has actively expanded the international “circle of friends” and opened up for development. The Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) is one of the important members of the group on the other side of the south Pacific Ocean.

According to Lye Chee Whye, President of PSA China, the cooperation between PSA and Beibu Gulf Port Group started seven years ago. “In June 2015, PSA signed a cooperation agreement with Beibu Gulf Port Group to jointly cooperate in the wharf project of No. 3 ~ 6 berths in Dalanping, Qinzhou, Guangxi. In the following years, PSA successively reached consensus and carried out in-depth cooperation in port operation and unpacking business. In 2018, at the 10th Pan Beibu Gulf Economic Cooperation Forum, PSA cooperated with Beibu Gulf Port Group again, the two sides signed a joint venture contract to establish Beibu Gulf Port Network Co., Ltd., which is committed to deepening port information network cooperation.” Lye Chee Whye said that the network company aims to build a smart Beibu Gulf Port network platform, and some functional modules have been put into use at present.

Beibu Gulf Port Group carried cooperation with PSA in port logistics

It is said that the construction of port network platform can meet the business needs of Beibu Gulf Gateway Port with rapid growth in recent years, meet the needs of efficient and accurate data exchange among carriers, shippers, agents and terminals, comprehensively improve the informatization and intelligence of Beibu Gulf Port, and realize data docking between Beibu Gulf Port and Singapore international transit port, so as to accelerate the information connectivity of the New Land-Sea Corridor.

Under the background of global carbon emission reduction and China’s realization of the “double carbon” goal, great changes will take place in future industrial structure and production mode, which will create broad prospects for the future cooperation and development between the two sides. “We hope that the two sides will continue to improve the service level of cooperation, give further play to their complementary advantages on the basis of existing good cooperation, promote the in-depth integration and development of PSA and Beibu Gulf Port Group in various fields, and achieve win-win cooperation, especially in emerging fields such as informatization, network security and renewable energy.” Talking about the future cooperation plan, Lye Chee Whye said, “practical cooperation with Beibu Gulf Port Group will promote the trade flow, capital flow and logistics between Western China and Singapore and even ASEAN. At that time, the New Land-Sea Coridor will usher in a new development era.”

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